In the nightcap of a men’s tennis doubleheader on Saturday evening, Oregon picked up a clean sweep of Portland State, winning all six singles matches following a trio of doubles wins.
In doubles play, senior duo Ty Gentry and Joshua Charlton took down the Portland State pair of Tommy Edwards and Sam Roberts, 6-2. Gentry played the net as much as he could, giving minimal time for his opponents to react to his quick returns. Per usual, the senior pair relied on their combination of dynamic serves to overwhelm Edwards and Roberts early on in the match.
Gentry and Charlton improve to 9-2 on the season as a team after the win. Portland State wasn’t the most daunting of opponents, but at this point in the season, it’s about focusing on technique and fundamentals.
“It’s two matches against Eastern Washington and Portland State. Sure, we should beat them, but it’s also quality matches and quality reps,” Charlton said.
As the seniors picked up a win on the middle court, the other two doubles pairs followed suit on either side of them. The Oregon pair of Charles Roberts and Brandon Lam defeated Majeed Bukhari and Matteo Fortini of Portland State, 6-4, while the other Ducks Riki Oshima and Emmanuel Coste trumped Portland State’s Nikola Dimitrijevic and Otto Holtari, 6-2.
Not only were each of the Ducks’ doubles pairs working together well, but the entire team seemed to get a boost from the momentum of the other games.
“It definitely helps when you see the boys bouncing around, cranking serves and hitting forehands,” Charlton said. “You definitely do feed off that energy.”
All six Ducks won their singles matches in two sets, other than Gentry’s 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory over Nikola Dimitrijevic. Perhaps the most dominating singles win came from freshman Luke Vandecasteele, who beat Portland State’s Otto Holtari 6-1, 6-2, marking his fourth straight win to improve his season record to 7-5.
“When I came here at the beginning of the year, I was sitting back more, but recently I’ve been able to step into the court pretty effectively,” he said. “It’s been doing wonders for me. The results are pretty good, so I’ll take it.”
Vandecasteele’s match was highlighted by a lightning quick, spinning backhand reaction shot, putting the game at deuce. The unorthodox shot gave Vandecasteele the momentum he needed to finish the game, and he didn’t look back from there.
“I just had to get the shot in somehow, I’m surprised it went in as good as it did,” Vandecasteele said. “I think it really helped me because the next point I won pretty easily, it was a total momentum shifter.”
The depth of the team was on display Saturday evening, with Joshua Charlton defeating Tommy Edwards, freshman Jesper Klov-Nilsson besting Majeed Bukhari, Rikia Oshima taking down Sam Roberts, and Emmanuel Coste defeating Matteo Fortini.
Oregon stays home on Jan. 17 to face UCSB, and look forward to starting conference play against USC on Feb. 28.